Do Perceptions Become Reality?: Exploring Principals’ Perceptions, Schools’ SRO/Police Presence, and Student Discipline Reporting Policies

28 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2021

See all articles by Michael Heise

Michael Heise

Cornell Law School

Jason P. Nance

University of Florida Levin College of Law

Date Written: April 26, 2021

Abstract

While recent scholarship generally emphasizes how public school principals’ perceptions influence various school safety practices, far less is understood about how principals’ perceptions of school crime risk and academic climate might inform schools’ decisions on specific school safety outcomes, including a school’s SRO/police presence and policies on whether to report student disciplinary incident to law enforcement agencies. Using data drawn from the 2017-18 School Survey on Crime and Safety and 2,500 public schools in the United States, this study examines these questions. The results make clear that the influence of principals’ perceptions vary across different school safety outcomes. Equally important is that the variation appears to be non-random. While the uneven salience of principals’ perceptions does not necessarily dilute their importance to school policies, it does underscore the need for a more granular accounting and understanding of how various important school-level safety outcomes arise.

Keywords: crime risk, school safety, principals’ perceptions, academic climate

Suggested Citation

Heise, Michael and Nance, Jason P., Do Perceptions Become Reality?: Exploring Principals’ Perceptions, Schools’ SRO/Police Presence, and Student Discipline Reporting Policies (April 26, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3834475 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3834475

Michael Heise (Contact Author)

Cornell Law School ( email )

308 Myron Taylor Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States
607-255-0069 (Phone)
607-255-7193 (Fax)

Jason P. Nance

University of Florida Levin College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States
352-273-0992 (Phone)

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